Bali needs our help: cookbook for a cause

28th May 2021 | Eativity editors

With millions of Aussies having to stay at home, this has left the Island of the Gods in dire straits. Now a new cookbook has been created to help raise funds for five Bali charities.

Kiwi-Australian chef Dean Keddell is the driving force behind a project to deliver desperately needed funding to five Bali charities to help thousands of families get through the pandemic crisis. More than $257,000 has already been raised in just a few months.

With Bali welcoming more than one million Australian visitors to the holiday isle in a normal year, the much-loved tourist destination normally enjoys a thriving tourism-based economy. But a year has now passed without international tourists, and there is no end in sight.

Our Bali Your Bali

“Bali is in a crisis situation,” says Keddell, restaurateur, chef and owner of two of Bali’s best-loved restaurants, Ginger Moon and Jackson Lily’s. “This pandemic has wreaked havoc among families and communities, as well as costing the economy billions of dollars.”

Without tourists, few businesses are open and there is no local work for the majority of the population. That means huge financial stress for most. While Keddell normally employs 130 staff, he has now had to cut back to a core of 50 and the restaurants remain closed.

“I found myself sitting among the chaos wondering what I could do,” he says. “So I thought I’d make my staff active by providing a project we could all get involved in. We began collecting favourite family recipes that have been handed down through generations, and then we expanded to ask local warung [small restaurant] cooks for theirs.

“We have now produced a beautiful, large hardcover cookbook, Our Bali Your Bali [Bali Kita Bali Kamu], which incorporates colourful images, family and community stories, more than 100 local recipes and a collection from both my restaurant kitchens.”

Bali’s economy depends on tourism. The borders have been closed to overseas tourists since April 2020.

Been to Bali? Buy a book

The Bali Needs Our Help project is asking people to order books via a Chuffed crowd funder, with more than $257,000 raised to date. The project aims to sell 5000 books and raise $375,000, with all profits going directly to local charities that have been badly hit.

“The charities we’ve chosen are the backbone of Balinese society,” Keddell says. “They support the poor and vulnerable at the best of times. With the pandemic, many more have joined the ranks of the needy, while charities have been unable to raise their normal funds.

“Cashflows are at critical levels and charities need financial aid to continue their wonderful support of local families with food, clothing, education and environmental needs.”

Balinese children are being supported with charity meal packs.

Charities that will receive funding from the project

Bali Children Foundation: helping local children to complete school and to find work.

Scholars of Sustenance: combatting the effects of COVID-19 by rescuing surplus food and providing nutrition to those in need.

Friends of the National Parks Foundation: working to protect wildlife and their habitats, while also supporting local communities.

East Bali Poverty Project: helping people to help themselves.

Bali Wise by R.O.L.E Foundation: empowering marginalised women through skills education, as a means to develop sustainable communities.

“If you have ever visited Bali or plan to enjoy some time on our tropical island, please support us and buy a book,” Keddell implores. “Bali’s warm and sincere hospitality has been captured between the covers in order for us to bring our precious Bali to you.”

To find out more about how you can help, go to